Wednesday, August 3, 2011


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Chapter One

1. Setting

Gentlehands is set in Seaville, New York. Seaville is separated into two parts. One part of the town is near the bay and seems to be the ordinary part of town. The people there have normal jobs and a regular income.

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The other part of Seaville is on the ocean. It is a very rich part of town. The homes are big estates.

. Atmosphere

In chapter one we are introduced to Buddy and his family. We meet them in their home. We get the feeling that this is a normal family. They seem to be close and talk. Everybody seems to get along. Buddy’s family seems to be middle class. They are average people.

We also learn that things are different on the other side of town. There is probably tension and conflict with the upper class people that live on the other side of Seaville, which is where Skye lives.


In Chapter one we are introduced to Buddy Boyle and his family. We meet his parents Billy and Inge Boyle and his little brother Streaker. We learn about Buddy’s grandfather, Grandpa Trenker from a conversation Buddy has with his mother.


BUDDY BOYLE -16 years old-has a part time job at the soda shop-likes clothes-worries about how he looks

BILLY BOYLE(Buddy’s father) -sergeant at the Seaville police department-never been good at talking-has trouble expressing himself and gets mad when he tries-Buddy thinks his Dad is a bit of a geek with big ears

INGE BOYLE(Buddy’s mother) -seems to be the one at home to keep everything together and peaceful-Buddy really likes her-Born in Germany-40 years old but looks older (Buddy thinks)-never knew her father until she was a grown woman-does not like her father-thinks her father is a “snob”-uncomfortable around her father


STREAKER(Buddy’s little brother) -5 years old-gets teased by his family, just for fun though-Buddy would like to be a better big brother to him but he does not have the time

GRANDPA TRENKER(Inge’s father and Buddy’s grandfather) -German-lives in Montauk, New York-lives in a big house by the ocean-Buddy’s family does not see him very often

. Conflict

I think that we see all three types of conflict in chapter one. We see human vs. human, human vs. self, and human vs. nature.

The chapter starts with human vs. human conflict. Buddy and his father are talking in the bathroom while Buddy is getting ready to go on a date with Skye Pennington. Buddy and his father disagree about Buddy’s date with Skye. Buddy’s father thinks that Skye is out of Buddy’s class. Buddy thinks that this is a social problem that he does not care about. It does not affect him and Skye personally. Buddy and his father don’t agree about Buddy going on a date with Skye.

There is human vs. self conflict in this chapter. Buddy seems to have a conflict with himself about his social class. He is spending money on clothes so that he can make himself look better for Skye. He also would like to be a better brother to Streaker but he does not have the time. Buddy seems to worry but he doesn’t let anyone know.

The final conflict in chapter one is human vs. nature. It would be human nature or behaviour. The town is divided socially. One part of the town is on the bay and seems to be middle class. The other part of Seaville is by the ocean and the people that live there seem to be upper class citizens.

4. Foreshadowing

In the first chapter I know that there is going to be a problem for Buddy and Skye if the try to date. They come from two different social classes. I wonder how they will be able to work this out and stay together if they even last past the first date. The first date is like the meeting of the two sides in the story and it just seems to be the start of a bigger problem that is going to happen.

I think that Grandpa Trenker is going to be important to Buddy somehow. I am interested to learn more about the grandfather.


Towhead page 1 rumpled hair or pale coloured

Lopsided page 4 one side lower than the other

Yahtzee page 1 a game played with dice

Snob page 8 person that judges other people by social rank

Seedy page 1 shabby or run down

Hotsy-Totsy page somebody that thinks they are the best or something good to look at

Chapter Two

1. Buddy’s parents are concerned about his date. Buddy’s father thinks that Skye is not in Buddy’s class. He thinks that because Skye comes from the other end of town that they shouldn’t go out together. His father also thinks that Buddy is spending too much money on clothes just to go out on a date with a girl.

Buddy’s mother is worried that Buddy will turn into a snob like his grandfather because he is spending his money on clothes and hanging around with the people from the other end of town. They let Buddy go though and just tell him to be careful.

. Buddy chose an all white outfit for his date. He thought it would look good with his tan. Buddy ended up looking like a waiter that belonged at Skye’s parent’s party. It made Buddy feel self-conscious.

. Skye’s mother always invited a bunch of different people to her parties. This time a writer, artists, an astrologist, and a man who plays the bagpipes were invited. She invited her spiritualist named Bachoo. Mr. DeLucca was the writer that she invited. The only one she did not invite was a black person.

4. In Chapter two we meet a writer named Mr. DeLucca and Skye’s father, Mr. Pennington. Mr. DeLucca is a journalist and he was wearing red pants, a plaid jacket, and yellow glasses. He talked to Buddy and seems to be a little strange I thought.

Mr. Pennington is a tall man with thick white hair. He has green eyes like Skye’s. He has a dark tan. He was very nice to Buddy and offered to let Buddy use his car for their date.

5. Skye’s behavior is different in a crowd than when she is alone with Buddy. When she is alone with Buddy she is quiet and relaxed. In a crowd she talks a lot. She chatters at her place around the crowd from her parent’s party. She also chatters a lot when she meets Buddy’s grandfather in Chapter three. This shows that she is nervous.

6. Buddy takes Skye to his Grandfather’s house in Montauk for their date. Buddy was nervous because Skye kissed him and when she asked to go somewhere special that was the first thing that came to his mind. He was originally just going to take her to the hangouts and meet up with some of his friends.

7. Mr. Pennington did not seem to have any problem with Buddy and Skye going out on a date. He wanted to know where they were going and if there was any alcohol there. He told them that they had to be home by midnight. He offered them a care. Mr. Pennington seemed to be very reasonable and not concerned like Buddy’s parents were about the date.

8. Buddy felt a little out of place at Beaureguard. He was uncomfortable because there was a party going on there and he did not know anyone. I think he probably felt stupid in his all white clothes because some people kept thinking that he was a waiter. He was uncomfortable because he was left all by himself while he was waiting for Skye.


Chagrin embarrassment, disappointment

Chapter Three

Part A

1. Buddy first heard about the term “borrowed glory” from one of his English teachers.

. “Borrowed glory” is when you can’t think of a way to say something or explain it so you look it up in a book and put it in your notes as a quote. You use somebody else’s ideas to explain something that you can’t put into words yourself.

. The teacher doesn’t think “borrowed glory” is deserved. You can’t take credit for something that is not your own. To deserve glory you have to earn it not just steal the idea from someone else.

4. Buddy borrows glory to impress Skye. By taking her to his Grandfather’s place he thinks that he is showing her he has money or class. He uses his Grandfather to make a good impression on Skye instead of just being himself and impressing her with his own personality.

5. I predict that Buddy and Skye’s relationship will go well. They both have good personalities and get along well together. The one thing that might make trouble is the fact that Skye is rich and lives on the other end of town and Buddy is just pretending and using his Grandfather instead of taking Skye to his own house and being honest about who he really is.

6. People feel the need to “borrow glory” to make themselves feel good or to impress other people.

7. I know a lot of guys that play sports that are always trying to impress their friends. They take one little play from the game and turn it into this enormous event. The problem is that sooner or later someone watches you play and you better be as good as you say you are or else you end up looking really stupid. Most the time when you try to impress somebody you usually end up exaggerating. I can pretty much say that I am guilty of this too. It just sounds so much better when youre trying to impress someone just to make the story sound a little more exciting.

8. “Borrowed glory” can be useful when you first meet somebody if you’re trying to make a good impression but it is not honest. It would just end up being destructive because sooner or later you have to live up to the story you tell. You have to learn how to be yourself.

Part B

1. Frank Trenker is Buddy’s Grandfather. He is 60 years old. He is a very tall and thin man with white hair and a moustache. He is a handsome man. Mr. Trenker is dignified and confident.

. Frank Trenker lives in Montauk. His house is very large. You cannot see the house from the road because the woods surround it. There is a long hill that leads up to the house. The house sits on the edge of a cliff and looks out over the ocean.

The inside of the house was filled with books, paintings, and antique furniture. It was impressive. Mr. Trenker had classical music playing. It was an opera. Mr. Trenker seems to have money and expensive things.

Chapters 4-6

1. Kick Richards is the owner of the soda shoppe where Buddy works. Kick is in his early forties. He used to be an actor. He was a drunk but now he smokes pot. Kick does not have a very good reputation with the local people in Seaville. The employees at the soda shoppe know that they can take advantage of Kick and get him to do what they want if they wait until after he’s smoked a joint. Otherwise he doesn’t let them do anything.

. Buddy and Ollie are good friends. Buddy has been hanging out with Ollie since grade four. Ollie has red hair and buckteeth. He is built like and Olympic weight lifter. Ollie is sensitive about his looks and people do make fun of him quite a bit. Buddy feels bad and does not like people to make fun of Ollie because Buddy knows it really hurts Ollie’s feelings.

. Buddy and his father had a conflict because Buddy lied. Buddy promised to spend time with Streaker in the afternoon. Instead, Buddy went swimming with Skye at Beauregard. Buddy lied about it and said that he had to work over time. After Buddy went home from swimming all he did was brag about how rich everything was and how nice it was at Beauregard. He kept saying it was bigger and better than at home.

Buddy’s father was offended by Buddy’s comments. He took Buddy outside to talk to him and punched Buddy so hard that it knocked Buddy over. Buddy’s father was angry at Buddy and said that Buddy was full of himself.

4. Mr. DeLucca is a friend of Mrs. Pennington. He is a writer. Buddy is uneasy around Mr. DeLucca because he is phony. He smokes a fake cigarette and wears stinky cologne. I thing that Buddy is uncomfortable around Mr. DeLucca because he can’t relate to him.

5. Rich people sometimes prove that they are snobs by the way that they talk and act. The people at Beauregard talked about private clubs and expensive cars and clothes. Buddy couldn’t relate to these things. Rich people talk about places they know you have never been to just to make themselves seem better than you are and make you feel beneath them.

6. Rachel makes fun of Buddy’s red sweater. She laughed and said it was made in Korea. She thought it was tacky. She made fun of the sweater because it was made out of Orlon. They laughed and said that it must belong to the yard boy. This proves that Rachel is a snob. I noticed that Rachel didn’t race to the beach with the other people though and stayed behind with Buddy. She told Buddy she hated herself. She realized that the sweater belonged to Buddy. I think she is a snob but she did feel bad for what she said so she might turn out to be all right.

7. Connie and Skye showed that they were sensitive towards other people’s feelings when Rachel was making fun of Buddy’s sweater. Skye grabbed the sweater and said the game was a stupid way to spend their time. She tried to change the subject and suggested that they race to the beach.

Connie just tried to forget it and say that there is nothing wrong with Orlon. He pretended that it didn’t matter what the sweater was made out of. Connie got off and ran off with everybody to race to the beach.

8. Buddy and his friends refer the Hadefield Club as the Hate-filled club. It is a rich snob club on the ocean. You have to be rich to belong to the Hadefield club. They also do not allow many Jews to belong to the club.

Chapter 7-1

Chapter 7

1. Buddy seems to be changing. He is trying to act more grown up and look after Streaker. He learned not to lie to Streaker about going places. Instead of making a promise that he cant keep he tells Streaker maybe instead. I also think Buddy is changing because now he is beginning to feel guilty about the things he does. Instead of just thinking about being guilty for not taking Streaker out Buddy actually does something about it. He puts some money into Streakers bank.

Chapter 8

1. Buddy is slightly embarrassed about Skye’s gift. Buddy received a sweater from Skye. It was navy blue and made out of cashmere. It was expensive not like the Orlon sweater Buddy owned. Buddy realized that Skye had been embarrassed for him when they played the game. It embarrassed Buddy that Skye had noticed his Orlon sweater.

Buddy was also embarrassed because Skye mentioned that he had to work all day to buy one sweater and Skye was rich so spending money on a sweater for him was nothing to her. It didn’t matter that she pent money on Buddy’s sweater.

. Gentlehands is a poem written by a 15 year old girl named Roselina DeLucca. She was Jewish. She wrote the poem when she was held prisoner in a concentration camp in Auschwitz.

The poem is about a prisoner waiting to be executed by a German guard. She is being held at gunpoint. She can look at the guard and see a man but he is so cold and mean that he doesn’t even realize she exists. He plays his music to tease her. He smiles and enjoys the music while she just sits there and waits to die. They called the Germans gentlehands but really that was just irony. There was nothing gentle about them. They were rough and mean.

Mr. DeLucca reveals that he is Jewish. The kids are shocked because he has an Italian name.


1. Grandpa Trenker has a fancy long pipe with a horseman sculpture on it. It is hand carved from Meerschaum and it is imported from Turkey. It is worth about eight thousand dollars.

. Carla was a woman that Grandpa Trenker met a long time ago. She was Beautiful and she was the only woman Grandpa Trenker had ever loved. Carla died in a house fire. Grandpa Trenker never forgot her.

Chapter 10

1. Trenker reveals that he got his girlfriend pregnant and married her. He hardly knew her when he married her. The baby they had was Buddys mother. Mr. Trenker was years old when he got married. Six months after they got married Grandma Trenker moved to America with the baby. Four months later the grandparents were getting divorced. Then the war broke out.

. Ollie noticed that there was something wrong with Buddy. He noticed that him and Buddy were not such good friends anymore. They werent spending as much time together as they used to. Ollie noticed that Buddy was changing. Ollie thought Buddy started to change since Buddy started to go out with Skye.

. Buddys mother is angry at her father because she holds a grudge that he had left when she was just a baby. She is angry that he left her mother all alone to raise her. Buddys mother blames her father for her mothers heart attack. She thinks that her mother had to work too hard to raise her on her own. Buddys mother is also angry that she never got to know her father.

I feel that Buddys mother can be angry at her father for her own past but she should not hold that against Buddy. Buddy should be allowed to know his grandfather. Maybe this is a chance for the family to have a new start. It is not too late for Buddys mother to get to know her father either.

4. Buddys mother is angry at first that Buddy thinks that he can learn things from his grandfather. She thinks that all Buddy can learn is to be a snob. Then Buddys mother sympathizes with Buddy but she still doesnt think that knowing about operas and rich manners is important. That is not how she wants to raise her children.

Chapter 1

1. Trenker finds a trapped animal behind the house. It was a raccoon. The grandfather helped the raccoon by freeing it. He wrapped it in a towel had it taken to Dr. Baird at the hospital.

Grandpa Trenker feels that people that wear fur coats do it for their own vanity, to show off. He thinks it is torture to the animal to trap them and that trapping animals to make fur coats should be outlawed.

. Buddys mother loves and trusts Buddy. She had a talk with Buddys father and everybody agrees to put the past behind them and try to start over.

. That night it looked that way.

These are the words Buddy used to refer to his family putting the past behind them and starting over. The way things seemed that night at home it was like everything was going to turn out and everyone would get to know each other. This quote makes me believe that maybe it was true that night but unfortunately I dont think things are going to stay that way.

Chapter 1

1. Grandpa Trenker gave Buddy advice on how to live life. He gives Buddy four main pieces of advice. Grandpa Trenkers first advice to Buddy was about girls. Grandpa Trenker says that if girls are going to tease guys by playing hard to get than Buddy should play hard to get back. The next time that Skye wants to see Buddy, Buddy should say yes but he should make the date for the next day. That will make Skye wait instead.

Grandpa Trenker says that quality is better than quantity. It is better to buy one good item than to buy a bunch of cheap things. The good one will last longer than the cheap stuff and that is a better way to spend your money. This advice is to teach Buddy how to make better choices.

Grandpa Trenker tells Buddy that having less of something is like really having more. It is better to know about one thing really good than to know a little bit about a lot of things. I think this is the lesson hes teaching Buddy.

Grandpa Trenker believes that you can become anything that you want to be. You need to have confidence. You are not born with confidence you have to get it gradually. He says that Buddy should start by using an older name like his middle name Raymond instead of a boys name like Buddy.

. Ollie invited Buddy to go to the movies with him and Luann. Buddy did not want to go because Luann talks through the whole move. Ollie thinks that movies are made to talk in and also for eating popcorn. Ollie made fun of Buddy for changing his name to Ray. Ollie mocked Buddy and called d himself Gertrude.

. On the rainy afternoon Skye and Buddy stayed at Skyes place and smoked pot. They were kind of making out too because no one was home.

4. Buddy showed that his conscience was bothering him about smoking pot because he thinks about his father being a cop. Buddy knows that if his father caught him smoking Buddy would get a beating. Buddy felt so bad because he knew that his father trusted him to not smoke that pot and he was doing it anyway. Buddy feels bad that he broke his fathers trust.

5. Skye know a secret about Mr. De Lucca. She knows that Mr. De Lucca is looking for an SS Guard from the concentration camp. It is the same guard that murdered de Luccas cousin.

Chapter 14

1. Verner is a foreign man that grandpa Trenker knows. He is a German. Verner makes Trenker mad. Trenker says Verner has to learn to solve his own problems.

. Trenker teaches Buddy about opportunity and responsibility. He ways that go together. If somebody gives you an opportunity to have or do something then you have to be responsible and respect what you get. Buddy had the opportunity to use Grandpa Trenkers car but Buddy was not responsible to drive stoned. Buddy could have hurt himself or other people when he was driving.

. O doci mani if from Puccinis opera Tosca. It relates to the story about Gentlehands because it was the music the SS Guard played to torture his prisoners. It was a song that says you are free to go and love each other. The prisoners sere not free to go. It was torture to hear the song. O dolci mani means O gentle hands in English.

Chapter 15

1. Nick de Lucca wrote a newspaper article about Trenker. Trenker says that it is deLuccas job to write stories for the paper. He says newspaper reporters do not care about the facts they just care about getting a good story. They only hear what they want to hear and they dont hear the parts that are wrong.

. Bill Boyle was very angry about the article in the paper. He thinks that his family is going to get dragged into it. He made Buddy leave work early. Boyle says that Buddy is living at home again now whether Buddy likes it or not.

Chapter 16

1. Og showed Buddy some more articles about Gentlehands. It showed that the prisoners were loaded in cattlecars to get to Auschwitz. When the prisoners arrived at Auschwitz they were sentenced to death. The article said that Trenker took a girl out of the line that could sing. She shot another guard in the leg so Trenker sent his guard dog after her. The article said this was Trenkers favourite kind of death sentence.

. Trenker gets harassed at home because of the articles in the paper. He gets prank phone calls. The person on the phone calls him a Nazi. Somebody was honking a car horn outside the house. When Buddy and Grandpa Trenker went outside they found the car door open with the swastika sign soaped on the car.

It was terrible that they found Mignon dead. Her throat was slashed and there was a sign that said Nazi dog.

Chapter 17

1. Trenker asks Buddy to make a phone call for him. He ahs to phone somebody in New York. Buddy is supposed to say that there is a package coming from Trenker. Buddy has to call from a pay phone in case the home telephone has a tap.

Chapter 18

1. Buddy realized that his Grandfather really was Gentlehands. He was trying to deny it to himself but there was a lot of evidence in the paper and in the stuff his grandfather had done or told to Buddy about the past.

. There was a lot of proof to show Buddy that his grandfather was Gentlehands. The newspaper had photographs of Trenker and Renner together. The paper talked about Renner being a stamp collector and pipe carving hobbies. Buddy remembered his grandfather talking about these things.

There was a picture of the fire from Cuba. It was bombed. Trenker was supposed to be the one to die not Carla. Buddy put all the pieces together and figured it out. Buddy also figured out that the phone call he had to make was to Werner Renner. The package Trenker sent was himself. Trenker was going to meet Renner.

Chapter 1

1. DeLucca thanked Buddy for the tip about the stamp shop in New York. It helped de Lucca to find Renner there.

. Werner Renner was arrested. He is going to go on trial. They didnt find Trenker but de Lucca doesnt care because Renner is the main criminal. I think Buddy somehow warned his Grandfather that they were coming.

. The Immigration Service did not find Grandpa Trenker. I dont have a clue where he would go. I guess not far really. Hell hide out somewhere I think so that he can secretly watch Buddy grow up.

4. Buddy said good bye to Skye and Grandpa Trenkers house. Buddy wants to leave everything that happened that summer behind him. Buddy is sad and lonely. Buddy is probably really confused. He just left everything the way is was and left the house. Buddy didnt even take the sweater that Skye gave him. I think he figures that it belongs there because it is the thing that puts him, Skye, and Grandpa Trenker together. Its kind of the link like a symbol of the world Buddy doesnt belong in.

Even though Buddy left Skye and the house he still has his memories. He is confused about a good Grandfather he met and really likes and the bad SS Guard Grandfather of the past. He is confused about the two worlds he has lived in over the summer. It is the same conflict as before about the opposite ends of town and the rich and the poor. I guess leaving the house and the sweater in it is like Buddy leaving all his memories in one place or something.

Now Buddy has to put together all the lessons he learned from both of the worlds around him and I guess he has to figure out his own life now and where he wants to belong.

Journal Entry 1 Doon November 10,001.

I have a lot of friends from a lot of different places. Some are from school, some are from sports, and some are from my neighbourhood at home. My parents know most of them and dont mind me hanging around with them. But now that Im getting older I go more places on my own and I meet more people. My parents dont know all of the new kids I hang around with. This causes some problems for me.

I met a bunch of kids from Doon. I met them from another friend of mine. There are dances in Doon that I like to go to with these people but its kind of far away and my parents dont know these kids. Most of the people that go to the dances are okay and we just hang out and have fun. There has been trouble at Doon with drugs and stuff. Some of my friends have tried it. I dont get into it. My parents think its not good for me to go. Thats crazy. I hate being judged by what my friends do. Thats them. Not me.

Weve talked about this a lot. I hate asking if I can go because I know Im going to have to listen to a long boring lecture first. My parents and I have talked together and we decided that I can go sometimes but not every time. Ive explained that I make up my mind what I do. I dont do things just because the kids I hang around with do.

So far this is working out. I get to go sometimes and I guess my parents trust me.

Journal Entry What Would It Be Like November ,001.

I would like to spend some time with Skye. I like spending time with my friends. When Im at their place I like to do new things and see how their families work. Its interesting to see how other people do things different than I do.

I wonder what it would be like to not have to worry about money and be able to afford to go out and do the stuff I want whenever I wanted to. I like hanging around with people. I think it would be cool to spend time at Skyes place and talk to her Moms friends. I like listening to interesting stories that people tell.

Skye seems like a good friend. Sometimes she forgets to include you in things like the club but she always comes back. She accepts people for who they are. She doesnt think youre stupid if you dont know about things like art.

I would like spending time with Skye. It would be fun.

Journal Entry Talk to the Coach December 1, 001.

Triple A baseball is tough. I play for Kitchener. There is a lot of competition at that level. I have to work hard to keep my spot on the team.

A big part of that is staying in good with the coaches. This can be really hard. Sometimes I feel like they are all over me. I would love to yell at them and tell them to back off. It just feels like when you do one little thing wrong they pick on you forever. It gets right inside me and then I cant do anything right.

I remember one year with one coach. I just wanted to quit. I swear he hated me and that was okay because I hated him just as much. I couldnt take it anymore.

My Mom said I had to grow up and face the facts. She said I had to talk to him face to face. I had to it myself she wasnt going to do it for me this time. I was scared to death. I was sure hed kick me off the team.

We were playing in Woodstock that night. We got there early so Id have time to talk to him before the game. He wasnt there yet. I swear the time we waited for him to get there was forever. I chewed every finger down and yelled at my parents and did anything I could to get out of talking to him and just go home and forget the whole thing. My parents wouldnt let me.

Then he drove in. I watched him park his car. He got out. I told my Mom, No way. She said, Go. I said, NO. I couldnt do it. Then he was at his trunk. It was my only chance. I begged my Mom to come with me but she wouldnt. I gathered up all my strength to go but I was really, really scared.

I remember it was freezing cold that day but I was so hot and sweaty. The walk across the parking lot took forever. My fingers hurt from chewing on them. When I got close to his car the coach said, Hi, Matt. Whats up? I told him we needed to talk. I said we had a problem. I told him I wanted to know why he hated me so much and picked on me all the time. I couldnt stand still. I put my bag down then picked it up and then put it back down again. I totally panicked.

When it was all done, he didnt hate me at all. He actually thought I hated him, which is kind of true, but I didnt tell him. He explained he just saw a lot of talent in by ball skills and he was just trying to get it out. He thinks Im a great player and he likes me a lot. He apologized to me if I took it the wrong way. I believed him.

Im glad my Mom made me talk to him. I played a great game that day. Him and I get along a lot better now. He doesnt make me so nervous. Solving a problem face on with someone is really hard but now I know its the best way to go instead of letting it build up inside of you. Its still really hard for me to do but now but at least I know I can do it if I try.

Journal Entry 4 Grandparents December 10,001.

I am really lucky to have my grandparents. I really like spending time with them just like Buddy did with Trenker.

Its always so relaxed at my grandparents place. You dont get in trouble. They have all the time to listen to everything you tell them. Its like everything stops and its just you and them.

I think grandparents are neat because they have seen so many changes in the world. My one Grandfather can talk forever about when he was young and the things he did and even the trouble that he got into. He doesnt care if I know about it. We laugh. Its funny.

We share our stories about our friends and the things that we do. Sometimes he even gives me advice and hints on how to do things and not get caught. I think hes hilarious.

Grandparents are the best. They love you just the way you are. They dont judge you. I love them a lot and Im so glad I have them.

Journal Entry 5 My Time December1,001.

Seems like nowadays everybody wants my time. A teacher, coaches, parents, friends, and even my brother. Finding enough time to keep everybody happy is crazy. Its causing me too much pressure. I never do a good job at anything because Im always worrying about who I have to see or what I have to do next. Dont get me wrong I like doing all the things I do but I just wish everybody would leave me alone sometimes. Then I could enjoy myself and maybe have some quality time.

Some of the people I have to spend time with like teachers or family I have no choice. I understand that. Staying home to spend time with my family is the hardest. I want to see them, but I want to see my friends too. This means that sometimes I have to find a way to do both. This means that sometimes I have to take my brother with me. I dont always have to take him but when I do what a pain. Hes okay but I hate watching out for him. He never stays with me, hes always running around to talk to people. And he talks too much. When hes there I cant even talk to my friends. He blabbers the whole time. Sometimes I admit hes funny. My friends think his is. I mostly think hes annoying.

I have to be honest. Ive lied before and told him Im going somewhere different that I know he doesnt like just so that he wont want to come. I kind of feel bad but I need my own time too. I feel the same guilt that Buddy feels about Streaker, but it has to be done.

Sorry Justin. (Not really). Just kidding.



Peer pressure used to be the thing that everybody talked about. Peer pressure is not a simple thing and teenagers do have to think about it but is not the real pressure that kids face today. It is so much more complicated than people especially parents realize. Pressures like smoking, doing drugs, and having sex are not the real issues. They are simple choices. You either make a good choice and stay healthy or you make the wrong choice and end up affecting your health or become a parent long before you are really ready. I am not saying there is not a lot of pressure around these things but the pressures that teens face today are so much more complicated than this. They are not pressures we get from our peers they are adult pressures. They are huge and they are driving us crazy.

We are expected to know what our future is now, be the best at everything we do, and make all of the right decisions all the time. We are expected to do all of this at the same time our minds and bodies are going through a million changes of their own. How much can we do? How much do people expect?

The pressure teens are under today are enormous. We get forced to make decisions about our futures when we havent even got a clue about what we are even doing today. They are huge social issues that affect the rest of your life. You have to do better than your best all the time. We have to always be thinking ahead to our next goal in life. We hardly have time to finish the first goals we set before we have to be working on the next ones. Look at where youve come from, think of where you are and focus on getting to the next place. I have heard this so many times. At school we dont just pick our courses, we practically have to decide what we want to be by the time we are 14 years old. How do we know? What do we care? Sure we want good jobs when were older and sure we want good education but do we have to have such a major plan at this age? There is a whole world of jobs out there that I havent even heard of. Give us some to find out what is out there. I dont want to rush into a decision now and then find out in twenty years I totally hate my job and maybe I should have done something else. I know this happens a lot.

When our heads are spinning around trying to figure out what we are going to do with our future we are supposed to be doing our best at what we are doing today. There is a lot of pressure to be perfect. You have to be the best. You have to get high marks in school. Giving good effort and trying hard dont matter. If you arent at the very top of the class for marks it doesnt even matter what you want to be because nobody will accept you in University anyway no matter how bad you want to be something. A couple of weeks ago University of Waterloo said they will need almost 5 percent to get in there. That is crazy. We cant keep up to this.

Sports is the same. Staying in shape, practicing hard and good effort is not enough there either. You have to earn your spot. Be the best. Beat out your friends. Prove you are better than everybody else is. If you dont it’s the same thing there you are off the team you dont make it. You play somewhere else. Everytime I go to a baseball or hockey game I play knowing that there is another kid there just waiting for me to screw up so he can have my spot next time. When will coaches realize I am human? I make mistakes. I get tired too. When I was little the coach always said, Its not whether you win or lose, its how hard you tried. Yeah right. I dont think so.

I find that one of the biggest pressures that people put on teenagers today is to be happy. Don’t let things get you down, talk about your problems, and tell us how we can help. I hear this a lot too. Just because we are quiet and not talking doesnt always mean something is wrong. Just because I come home a little bit grumpy sometimes doesnt mean I have some major issue in my life that I need to talk about. Yeah I get pissed off and sometimes Im pretty angry. Maybe I get mad at my friends or some girl thing is bothering me or somebody might be mad at me and I dont know why. This stuff bothers me. I dont need to talk about all the time. I dont need people to analyze me. Im okay. I need to be left alone. I need to get inside my own head. I dont need help or a plan. One thing I am the best at is my own thoughts. They are mine and I want to keep them to myself. We are teenagers but we still can think. People need to let us try.

There is a lot of peer pressure. Smoking, drinking, and drugs are all around us. We have all the information we need to deal with this stuff. We have been hearing it for years. I think it is totally ridiculous that some of the pressures that get put on us come from people like the government education people that keep changing everything at school all the time. They cant make up their minds but were supposed to. What teenagers really need is advice on how to deal with all the adult pressures that are getting put on us. I am trying to do my best but Im getting sick of my trying not being good enough. We dont care about peer pressure its the adult pressure we cant handle.

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